I completed my legal studies via distance learning. Had Legal Apprenticeships been widely available back then, I would have found them an attractive option.

Andrew Smailes | Legal Trainer

The Advanced Apprenticeship is suitable for apprentices in roles where they are managing aspects of case files, conducting legal research and some drafting in addition to carrying out more complex administrative work. In some firms, advanced apprentices will be performing fee-earning work for at least some of the time.

As well as enabling apprentices to build knowledge specific to their practice area (there is a choice of five technical pathways), the inclusion of the CILEx Level 3 Diploma in Providing Legal Services ensures that apprentices are applying their legal knowledge correctly in the workplace and also have the wider business and administrative skills required for their role.

The five knowledge pathways are as follows:

  1. CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Civil Litigation
  2. CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Employment Practice
  3. CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Family Practice
  4. CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Property
  5. CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Private Client Practice

Knowledge qualifications

Each of the knowledge qualifications is underpinned by a mandatory CILEx Level 3 Professional Skills Unit: Client Care Skills and apprentices can also choose a second Professional Skills Unit: Legal Research Skills. Advanced Apprentices will also choose at least one Law unit and one Practice unit. The Professional Skills units are assessed by CILEx written assignment tasks, delivered and assessed by Damar and moderated by CILEx. They are graded Pass or Fail. The other units within the knowledge qualification are assessed by a 90 minute examination set by CILEx and available twice a year (in January and June). Results are graded Pass, Merit or Distinction. The overall qualifications are not graded.

Competence qualification

The CILEx Level 3 Diploma in Providing Legal Services consists of 22 units in all from which advanced apprentices must achieve a number of units totaling a minimum of 39 credits (usually 13 units). Advanced apprentices are assessed across a range of legal, administrative and business skills relevant to a legal services employee working at this level in an organisation. These include, for example, legal drafting and research, communicating with clients and file management. The qualification also includes an understanding of ethical practice and the main requirements of statutory and regulatory compliance.

The competence qualification is assessed at work through the production of a portfolio of evidence which is assessed by a qualified Damar assessor and verified by a CILEx external verifier.

Progression

For advanced apprentices wishing to progress further there are a number of options:

  • The Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services.
  • CILEx professional qualifications (advanced apprentices are exempt from some units) to become a Chartered Legal Executive (a period of qualifying employment is also required).
  • A qualifying law degree (either part- or full- time).
  • After (b) or (c), the Legal Practice Course (LPC).
  • Chartered Legal Executives who have completed the LPC do not have to complete a training contract in order to become a solicitor. Other LPC graduates normally have to complete a two year training contract.

Expected duration of the Advanced Apprenticeship: 15 to 18 months

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